Introduction to Politics
I. Course Prefix/Number: PSC 110
Course Name: Introduction to Politics
Credits: 3 (3 lecture; 0 lab)
III. Course (Catalog) Description
Course introduces concepts of political life. Content focus is on power: source, modes (coercion, control, consent, charisma); expressions, conflicts, etc. Examples drawn from history and current political life.
IV. Learning Objectives
- Define politics and describe the pursuit and practice of power;
- Apply the concepts of power and politics to governmental and non‑governmental institutions (e.g. the family and schools);
- Identify and explain the relationship between leadership, power, influence, authority, and legitimacy;
- Analyze and explain the relationship between power and justice in different political systems;
- Evaluate and interpret historical and contemporary examples of policy-making and implementation.
V. Academic Integrity and Student Conduct
• plagiarism (turning in work not written by you, or lacking proper citation),
• falsification and fabrication (lying or distorting the truth),
• helping others to cheat,
• unauthorized changes on official documents,
• pretending to be someone else or having someone else pretend to be you,
• making or accepting bribes, special favors, or threats, and
• any other behavior that violates academic integrity.
There are serious consequences to violations of the academic integrity policy. Oakton's policies and procedures provide students a fair hearing if a complaint is made against you. If you are found to have violated the policy, the minimum penalty is failure on the assignment and, a disciplinary record will be established and kept on file in the office of the Vice President for Student Affairs for a period of 3 years.
Please review the Code of Academic Conduct and the Code of Student Conduct, both located online at
VI. Sequence of Topics
- The nature of politics.
- Power, authority and legitimacy.
- Political culture and socialization.
- Political change.
- Who rules: constitutions and popular rights.
- Representation and leadership.
- Popular participation: voting and interest group participation.
- The legislative function.
- The executive function.
- The judicial function.
- Policy making and implementation.
VII. Methods of Instruction
Classes will include a variety of instructional methods such as: lectures, in class discussions, group activities, document and film analysis, and the use of new technologies.
Course may be taught as face-to-face, hybrid or online course.
VIII. Course Practices Required
Students will be required to:
- Read a standard textbook and research materials.
- Write outside of class the equivalent of 12‑14 double‑spaced typed pages in the form of a term paper, summaries of journal articles, short research papers, and/or other kinds of writing.
- Participate in in-class and out-of-class activities.
IX. Instructional Materials
The most current editions of the following texts are being used:
Barnes, Carter, & Skidmore, TheWorld of Politics
Dahl, Modern Political Analysis
Edelman, The Symbolic Uses of Politics
Macrides, Modern Political Regimes: Patterns and Institutions
Schumann, A Preface to Politics
X. Methods of Evaluating Student Progress
Students will also be evaluated on a combination of written assignments and in- and out-of- class assignments.
XI. Other Course Information
Support Services: Tutoring is available in the Learning Center.
Important Dates: *
|XX/XX:||Last day to withdraw and have course dropped from record|
|XX/XX:||Last day to change to Audit|
|XX/XX:||Last day for students to submit materials to make up incomplete from the previous semester|
|XX/XX:||Last day to withdraw from classes with a "W"|
*These dates differ for each semester. You'll find the correct dates on the Academic Calendar.
If you have a documented learning, psychological, or physical disability you may be entitled to reasonable academic accommodations or services. To request accommodations or services, contact the Access and Disability Resource Center at the Des Plaines or Skokie campus. All students are expected to fulfill essential course requirements. The College will not waive any essential skill or requirement of a course or degree program.
Oakton Community College is committed to maintaining a campus environment emphasizing the dignity and worth of all members of the community, and complies with all federal and state Title IX requirements.
Resources and support for
- pregnancy-related and parenting accommodations; and
- victims of sexual misconduct
Resources and support for LGBTQ+ students can be found at www.oakton.edu/lgbtq.
Electronic video and/or audio recording is not permitted during class unless the student obtains written permission from the instructor. In cases where recordings are allowed, such content is restricted to personal use only. Any distribution of such recordings is strictly prohibited. Personal use is defined as use by an individual student for the purpose of studying or completing course assignments.
For students who have been approved for audio and/or video recording of lectures and other classroom activities as a reasonable accommodation by Oakton’s Access Disabilities Resource Center (ADRC), applicable federal law requires instructors to permit those recordings. Such recordings are also limited to personal use. Any distribution of such recordings is strictly prohibited.
Violation of this policy will result in disciplinary action through the Code of Student Conduct.